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With the Jack PC, the Computer's In the Wall! 119

cylonlover writes "The Jack PC from Chip PC Technologies offers a neat and novel thin-client desktop computing solution where the computer doesn't just plug into the wall, it is the plug in the wall. Running on power provided by the ethernet cable that also connects it to the data center server, the computer-in-a-wall-socket supports wireless connectivity, has dual display capabilities and runs on the RISC processor architecture."
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With the Jack PC, the Computer's In the Wall!

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  • Old news. (Score:5, Informative)

    by bchickens ( 255621 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @09:29AM (#34110354)

    I've used the JACK PCs before on a citrix environment (A couple years ago). Actually I installed and tested the system. Neat little things but hardley new news.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

      These are kind of cute but I have to wonder why? I mean why not a tiny box that could use POE or a wall wart? Maybe even build it into a keyboard?
      They only benefit I see to having to bolt these into the wall is in a school or a public place where theft would be a concern.
      Other than that it seems more pain then gain to me.

      • Re:Old news. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by vlm ( 69642 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @10:36AM (#34111354)

        They only benefit I see to having to bolt these into the wall is in a school or a public place where theft would be a concern.

        Bolt it into a wall behind the big screen. Instant super digital picture frame or announcement board, just add software.

        The main threat is from the long cable industry, using a traditional cheap PC somewhere else with long cables. The other threat is no upgrade path, if you'll need to do the long cable thing on the next generation anyway, why not do it now.

      • by Defenestrar ( 1773808 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @11:03AM (#34111862)

        Or convention centers, church pulpits, wall mounted information displays, neo-classically designed retro-arcades, computer controlled entertainment centers, etc...

        You're certainly right in calling this in-wall mount a "niche" market though ;)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mlts ( 1038732 ) *

        That is exactly where these things come in handy -- environments such as schools or places with computer labs that if a lab monitor turns around, equipment would be walking out the door.

        I can see using these Jack PCs (secured in the wall with Bryce Key-Rex security screws or something of that nature) in an environment where you want as little equipment out in the open as possible, where if a crackhead goes werewolf and rips a monitor off a Kensington cable and dashes off with it, that isn't as big a loss as

      • It can use PoE. I'm also not sure why this is news since these have been out for 4-5 years now.

      • by flyneye ( 84093 )

        In Russia, wall IS computer.

  • Welcome... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cloud K ( 125581 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @09:31AM (#34110380)

    ...to 2006 [slashdot.org].

    Am I missing a development (the 'news') bit or is this just a slashvertisement?

    • by MillionthMonkey ( 240664 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @09:44AM (#34110528)
      I don't know what's more pathetic- that three of ten commenters immediately remembered some random Slashdot story from 2006, or that I did.
      • by aliquis ( 678370 )

        I didn't knew it was actually the same product, same concept though. So sign me up on those 3/10 to =P

        Anyway, funny how the specs is the same now to, impressive, no development in four years :D
        And totally comparable with a 1.2 GHz x86 chip even today, never mind any efficiency progress of x86 chips.
        (As if it was even back then?)

        P3? P4? Pentium-M? Core i7?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by poena.dare ( 306891 )

        Those who cannot remember posts of the past are condemned to re-read them. -- G-Dawg "Santa" Yanayana-bing-bang

    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @09:59AM (#34110714) Homepage Journal

      Too bad they're not sold at the Wal mart in the mall. Then you could get a Wal Mart Mall Wall Wart.

      • by monktus ( 742861 )
        And if it fries your switch, or you slice your hand open installing it, you could get legal advice from Bob Loblaw's Law Blog.
    • Slashvertisement? No way. I mean, it "runs on the RISC processor architecture". No way that could be marketing material. Nor this: "PC Technologies offers a neat and novel thin-client desktop computing solution". And what could be better than having the computer inside the wall? Imagine all the problems this crea..er, solves.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ari_j ( 90255 )
      Here's how you can tell it's not news, even without looking for the same story from 4 years ago: The headline has an exclamation point.
  • From 2006: http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/06/01/1255225

  • Hmm, I remember hearing about this one years ago.
    A quick google brought this one up, from 2006:
    http://crave.cnet.co.uk/desktops/you-dont-know-jack-pc-you-should-49283851/ [cnet.co.uk]

    I, for one, wouldn't call it news worthy.

  • data center server (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    So the ethernet cable runs directly from the device to the "data center server?" Interesting.

    • by aliquis ( 678370 )

      And that one is also a jack pc running on ethernet power! Amazing!

    • It's powered over ethernet and supports wireless connectivity!

      I can't be the only person that realized the pointlessness of the wireless connection.

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        I can't be the only person that realized the pointlessness of the wireless connection.

        Two words: Access point.

    • Dude, doesn't your data center server have at least 256 Ethernet ports on it?

      Any server worth its salt has them built in on the motherboard! All 256 of them... ;-)
  • "runs on the RISC processor architecture – which gives the solution the equivalent of 1.2GHz of x86 processing power."

    "comes with either a 333MHz (800MHz x86 equivalent) or a 500MHz (1.2GHz x86 equivalent) RMI Au processor."

    I always enjoy when people write articles without actually understanding what they're saying.

    • Maybe RISC architectures are like the Highlander, there can be only one. Watch out MIPS, they are after your head!
    • by aliquis ( 678370 )

      I always enjoy when people write articles without actually understanding what they're saying.

      Yeah, they should stay out of tech press and stay in politics!

      Obligatory: Get of my lawn!

    • by a_nonamiss ( 743253 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @10:02AM (#34110752)
      No, clearly it is you that doesn't understand that making chips out of RISC makes them faster. That has always made me wonder, why don't they just make all chips out of RISC. I mean, it's clearly better than whatever other stuff they make the other chips out of. 2.4 times better in fact.
      • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

        by gman003 ( 1693318 )
        Ignore this if above poster was being sarcastic. I think he might be, but I'm not sure.

        First off, we're disputing the use of a general type ("RISC architecture") instead of the actual architecture (ARM, MIPS, etc.). That's just bad tech reporting. I'd expect such sloppiness from Fox or MSN, not /.

        Second, pretty much all processors now are RISC internally. Yes, i386 is a CISC instruction set, but processors translate those complex instructions into one or more RISC-type instructions, which are then run.
    • by Ant P. ( 974313 )

      It also runs on power from a wire, has two things that plug into other stuff, and connects to a center somewhere!

  • dual display over the network must needs lots of bandwidth to be at a speed that does not fell like the old dial up days of slow loading pages.

    • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

      Over a 100mb lan it should be fine, even better over gigabit.

      • It's just RDP or ICA. It would be just fine over 10mb, probably even coax, although I don't think you can do PoE over 10base2.
        • by Amouth ( 879122 )
          <quote>although I don't think you can do PoE over 10base2.</quote>

          Not sure either -- but I've got a car battery and some cable - let see if it lights up any thing, quick be ready to catch the magic smoke.
        • by kgkeys ( 239243 )

          A lot of ham radio accessories use power injectors at the transceiver to power remote antenna switches, tuners, etc. I think coax just fell out of use before PoE really came out in force.

      • but how many systems on the same switch or link back to the data center?

        also how much more power does the data center need for dual display over 1 display per systems?

        • Same as with any other Citrix setup. It is not that unusual, and obviously you aren't going to use this machine for video editing.

  • The good thing about having a computer right in your wall is that when the thing overheats, your wall burns down... taking out your whole house.
    • Sort of gives a new meaning to the phrase "crash and burn".

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      When it overheats due to heavy portscanning, it will spontaneously create a firewall. Problem solved.

    • I doubt that's an issue with this low-voltage, low-amp RISC device. Your cell phone charger probably pulls more amperage and creates more heat.
  • BFD. (Score:2, Insightful)

    So they put the computer in the wall and run it off the power of the ethernet - it can't have much of a processor if that's the only power it needs.

    If I want a less cluttered desktop I'll get one of those all-in-one machines from Lenovo, HP, or Apple.

    Maybe someone should come up with an buried computer - dig a hole in the yard, put the computer in their, and run cables into the building and have it run off of its own heat pump!

    Or the cat box computer! Put the computer in the cat box have it run on the heat

  • GPL viotation, (Score:5, Informative)

    by Zappy ( 7013 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @09:49AM (#34110588) Homepage

    Uses modified Debian, source nowhere to be found.

    Asking by e-mail several questions consistently ignored my request for the sourcecode until all other questions where resolved then I got completely ignored.

  • Pfffft.... that's nothing... they've had servers [slashdot.org] running in walls for years now :)

  • Cost? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Osgeld ( 1900440 )

    the problem with most thin clients is that they cost more than a cheap PC, we just setup some clients at work, they are 1.6ghz dual core atoms with 2 gig of ram and a 160gig laptop drive at around 150$ each new (not counting software which is mint anyway) vs a $200+ thin client

  • You may need to learn about drywall to upgrade your PC.
  • I saw "supports wireless connectivity" and wondered why a device that is POE would need WiFi. Need more caffeine.

    • I saw "supports wireless connectivity" and wondered why a device that is POE would need WiFi. Need more caffeine.

      One, it can be used as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Second, it can also use a normal power adapter, for cases of unpowered Ethernet, or using Wi-Fi connection. There might be other uses as well, but those are the two main ones.

    • by Amouth ( 879122 )
      same thing here..

      then i realized hey just means it has blue tooth..

      then i read the article/crap and realized it is via an optional USB adapter.

      surprised they don't just start listing support for everything imaginable that can be connected via USB.
  • Jack PC [chippc.com] + OnLive [onlive.com] = Cheap gaming cafe?
  • I will agree that it's kina cool to have such a tiny server, but how many companies are so extremely short of space that they can't even find room for an ITX? This doesn't seem to be any more powerful or useful, and it's rare that an office wil be so small that there's no room for one of those.
  • Mechanical Horrors (Score:5, Informative)

    by Maavin ( 598439 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @10:24AM (#34111138)
    I deployed about 200 of these things in an industrial environment (control rooms in a steel plant). They are small and perform rather good.
    The electrical connection between the the JackPC and its shell is terrible! Some are so weak, that you only have to bump into the table and they lose connection.
    It's so bad we considered soldering a short cat5 pigtail directly to the damn things and fix everything with hot glue...
  • Oh for the love of Moore's saggy left...

    The differentiation between RISC and CISC simply ceased to have any real meaning years ago, and people still drawing this pointless distinction would do well to stop living in the past.
    Most of the chips some poor, benighted "RISC purist" would identify as CISC are, in fact, hybrid chips implementing technologies from both RISC and CISC architectures.

  • http://www.chippc.com/thin-clients/jack-pc/ [chippc.com]

    2 of the 3 models they sell list this as a spec in the spec sheets

    100% Virus / Trojan Immunity

    On top of that, they run (unlike someone incorrectly said they run linux) Operating System Enhanced Windows CE-6.0 R2

    Read the specs for each of the three models yourself lol
  • "The Tell-Tail PC" and "The Cask of PC!" Does it make strange noises in the wall in the night, slowing driving the owner insane? Or does the owner go back fifty years later, and say, "May it rest in peace!" . . . ?

    • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

      Thornton is in the next room, but they prevent me from talking to him. They are trying, too, to suppress most of the facts concerning the network. When I speak of poor Norrys they accuse me of this hideous thing, but they must know that I did not do it. They must know it was the computers; the whirring buzzing computers whose humming will never let me sleep; the daemon computers that race behind the padding in this room and beckon me down to greater horrors than I have ever known; the computers they can nev

  • Jack PC Sales Man: Hey potential customer this PC has no power cable!!! This is the next big thing.

    Potential Customer: No power cable? Really? But it still uses electricity right?

    Jack PC Sales Man: Of course, don't be silly.

    Potential Customer: So where does the power come from?

    Jack PC Sales Man: From the ethernet cable!!!

    Potential Customer: So you're using the ethernet cable as a power cable? How is that not the same as having a power cable?

    Jack PC Sales Man: ...um....ugh...It's an ethernet cable. You can n

  • x86 equivalent (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    My eyes started glazing over when the press rel-- I mean the story -- explained the processor speeds in "MHz x86 equivalent." Is that a single-in-order-core Atom x86, or a multi-core OoO with lots of L3 cache i7, or a really-long-piped Pentium 4 or...? Seriously, this tells you nothing. It's totally ok to use "x86" as shorthand for certain qualities of a processor, but performance (especially in terms of clock speed) sure as hell isn't one of those infer-able qualities.

    This car has a color, similar to a

  • Would be even cooler if we could have similar computer inside CELLPHONES!!! Oh, wait...
  • by sootman ( 158191 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @11:52AM (#34112784) Homepage Journal

    ... from a company with a page like this. [chippc.com] If I can't buy easily, directly from your site, I'm not going to buy. FFS, do you want to sell things or not? If so then set up a damn store somewhere--Yahoo, eBay, etsy, I don't care. But don't tell me "Here's a bunch of links to the front page of some resellers, start searching." At the very least, post a "suggested price" so I know if it's even worth the effort to pursue.

    • by BigSes ( 1623417 )
      This is very common now. Bad example, I know, but have you tried to buy a BTX case recently? All the "current" and "well-known" manufacturers simply link to other sites. Yes, they are no longer actively in use, but if your company still PRODUCES them, sell them yourselves! I'm sure Ill get trolled, flamed and modded into oblivion now, but its great way to create a multicore PC totally on the super cheap for a non-nerd user, like ourselves. I agree with you, the OP, that's shitty for business.
  • We got one for testing a few weeks ago. Never got past a boot screen. Re-install OS per manufacturer resulted in a brick. Waiting for a week for support to respond.... (Disclosure: Other folks working with it. I have no exposure to it other than laughing at their increasing frustration / cussing). Now, this can happen with any product, so I'm not dead to it. But DOA unit on the 1st try certainly dampens perception.

Recent investments will yield a slight profit.